Royal Brackla 16, 1993 (Signatory CS)

I know nothing about the Royal Brackla distillery except that it is in the Speyside, is owned by Diageo Dewars and is one of very few distilleries that are allowed to use the “Royal” appellation in their name (the others, I believe, are Lochnagar and the now-defunct Glenury, but there may be more that I am forgetting). Its output is mostly fodder for blends, and when available as a single malt, is usually competitively priced. I was interested in this bottling because Binny’s has it discounted quite severely as part of their Spring 2013 sale. Luckily, a friend bought a bottle on spec, liked it and was willing to swap a sample. And so here I am.

This bottling is by Signatory, who, along with Gordon & Macphail, are probably the most ubiquitous of the independents available in the US. This is a cask strength bottling, but not from one of those sexy, expensive decanters that their regular CS range come in: this was bottled especially for Binny’s in a regular bottle with a hideous gold label, as is usual for all their Binny’s bottlings. But what counts is what’s in the bottle. Read on.

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